"U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio pulled back on past support for tuition breaks for children of illegal immigrants Wednesday, repositioning himself on a growing controversy in the Republican presidential race."
For Rubio to appear to side with Perry — he even refused to say whether the Texas bill was similar to Florida's, even though it served as the model — could be politically damaging."Sen. Marco Rubio pulls back on support for tuition breaks for illegal immigrant children".
Hunger "rise steepest in Florida"
"America's "hunger bill" cost the nation $167.5 billion last year, according to new research released Wednesday — a tab that doesn't even include food stamps and other federal nutrition programs. Instead, it's the cost of hunger-related illness, lost economic productivity, charities that feed the poor and the consequences of hungry children falling behind in the classroom."
While every state in the nation saw an increase in the cost of hunger from 2007 to 2010, the three-year rise was steepest in Florida, where it increased nearly 62 percent to $11.7 billion, according to the study from the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for American Progress and Brandeis University."Florida's 'hunger bill' is fastest-growing in nation".
Fitz to take on Buchanan
"Democratic former state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald of Sarasota is poised to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan." "Former state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald likely to challenge Vern Buchanan". Meanwhile, "Group asks FBI to investigate Buchanan" and "Listen: Buchanan voicemails shed light on campaign reimbursement dispute".
Rubio says "no"
"Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says he's not going to be the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2012 because he's focused on being a U.S. senator. Speaking at a political forum in Washington, Rubio said flatly on Wednesday: 'I'm not going to be the vice presidential nominee.' He then repeated himself." "Rubio says he won't be VP nominee". See also "Marco Rubio says he won't be GOP VP nominee" and "Rubio says he's won't be VP nominee".
The best they can do?
"Andy Gardiner to Take Over 2014 State Senate".
"Amid an ongoing investigation into how a convicted felon was hired by the state Department of Revenue, the agency this week implemented new policies on criminal-background checks of new applicants and current employees." "After Felon's Hiring, Department of Revenue Tightens Criminal Checks".
Hasner, LeMieux Laff riot
"On Wednesday, former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner -- one of the leading Republicans looking to challenge Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012 -- took aim at one of his chief primary rivals, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, for backing a measure allowing banks to raise fees for using debit cards."
The LeMieux camp fired back at Hasner, hitting the former legislative leader’s record in Tallahassee."Senate Hopefuls Adam Hasner and George LeMieux Trade Jabs".
"Poor Adam keeps getting tripped up by his own record," Anna Nix, a spokeswoman for LeMieux, wrote Sunshine State News on Wednesday. "While George LeMieux sided with small businesses, consumers and retailers, and stood up against Wall Street and its lobbyists, Adam was in Tallahassee voting for tax increases, requesting millions in wasteful spending, and accepting cash and campaign checks from the very bank he is now criticizing."
"Hundreds meet downtown for Occupy Orlando, to discuss group's goals". Related: "'Occupy' groups emerge on South Florida's political left to protest income gap, Wall Street abuses".
I don' like rules
"Members of a House subcommittee and Gov. Rick Scott's regulatory reform office are trying to solicit public comment on their blitz against what they see as excessive state regulation." "Are you burdened by state regulation? Scott, lawmakers want to know".
Obvious that Florida needs stricter pollution rules
"An all-day public workshop on Florida’s hotly contested water pollution standards held Tuesday brought up several concerns about the efficacy, and accuracy, of the state’s proposed rule."
It’s becoming increasingly obvious that Florida needs stricter rules to govern pollution in its waterways — nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen (which come from failing septic tanks, home fertilizers and industry effluent) lead to wide-scale algal blooms, which choke off oxygen to other marine life, and lead to widespread fish kills and no-swim zones. But the question of where the stricter standards will come from — the state or the feds? — has yet to be answered."Public workshop on state water pollution standards highlights concerns".
"It's not the first time"
The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "It took a circuit court judge to step in and block Florida from implementing the nation's largest prison privatization plan. The transfer of 29 facilities and 16,000 inmates to a private firm turned out to be not only controversial but, according to the judge's ruling, unconstitutional. Add misguided as well. The ruling was the right call and should give Gov. Rick Scott pause in his zeal to privatize this important government function. Unfortunately, the executive branch is likely to appeal, even though it's clear Florida's leadership put the state in this legal quagmire in the way it tried to impose this ill-advised initiative on the public. It's not the first time." "Court's block of prison privatization a welcome reprieve for Florida".
"Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was thrust into the bright national spotlight of Republican presidential politics Wednesday — and not just because he’s a potential short-lister for the vice presidential ticket."
The normally eloquent Republican was relatively speechless Wednesday when asked about his role in the decision by nearly every major GOP candidate to boycott a presidential debate sponsored by Spanish-language media giant Univision because of allegations that it tried to pressure Rubio into a sit-down interview."Rubio talks about Univision, immigration with National Journal".
Republi-baggers can't find the word "flouride" in the Constitution
"Eight years ago, Pinellas County commissioners decided to add fluoride to the drinking water."
On Tuesday, the board eliminated fluoride despite pleas from dentists who said its absence would cause more rotten teeth."Tea party influence felt in fluoride vote".
Credit tea party activism for the reversal.
The tea party movement took flight in 2009 in opposition to big government programs on the national stage, but its influence has since trickled down to local governments to affect the most basic of services — right down to the water that pours from your tap. ...
Most American medical groups strongly advocate adding fluoride to drinking water to improve dental health, particularly for needy children. A majority of U.S. communities provide fluoridated water.
Pinellas County provides water to about 700,000 people in the unincorporated areas and to most cities. Some officials in those cities were baffled by the decision to eliminate fluoride. ...
The decision also triggered national attention with calls to the county commissioners from USA Today, CBS radio news and other outlets. Pinellas County's decision was criticized by one top U.S. official.
One man's "reorganization"
"For the third year in the row, state lawmakers are once again considering a possible reoganization of the mammoth Department of Health. This week the first presentations outlined a possible reorganization, which could affect as many as 1,253 employees and trim as much as $230 million in spending from the department's budget in the coming year." "Health department reorgnization could affect more than 1,200 workers".
"State leaders say speeding up Florida's lethargic mortgage foreclosure process, third-longest in the country, will jump-start the state's economic recovery." "Florida courts say: Fund us and we can move foreclosures along".
"All but meaningless"
"State agencies were ordered this summer by Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders to draw up a list of potential budget cuts along with their normal annual budget requests. But that list of cuts, generally meant to reduce spending by 10 percent, may be all but meaningless. At least that's how one top lawmaker put it." "Top lawmaker: Budget cuts proposed by agencies are meaningless".
130 state wildlife officers may be cut
"The possible cutting of 130 state wildlife officer positions and state spending reductions for invasive species control had some legislators raising concerns on Wednesday."
Rep. Franklin Sands, D-Weston, said he doesn't see how the agency can carry out its mandate of protecting and fish and wildlife resources with fewer officers. He said the cuts represent a "false economy.""Proposed wildlife officer cuts alarms some legislators".
"What's going to happen is by cutting the programs, we're going to have even bigger problems in the future," Sands said. "It will cost us more than we think we are saving with these budgetary cuts."
Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, said the proposed law enforcement reduction "bothers me a lot." He asked whether there are smaller reductions the agency could absorb.
Slashing law enforcement
"Gov. Rick Scott asked all state agencies to conduct a 10 percent budget cutting exercise this summer, but for law enforcement, legal and corrections agencies Wednesday, it was an exercise in futility. Representatives for the agencies told the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee they can't sustain any more cuts without giving up on functions required by the Legislature and the state constitution." "Nightmare scenario looms if more cuts made, law enforcement agencies tell House panel".
"Panhandle legislative districts will be horizontal, Senate committee agrees".
Romney runs wild in Florida
"Mitt Romney swept through the capital of the nation's biggest swing state Wednesday, meeting voters at a restaurant, talking jobs with business professionals, and working to nail down dollars and support from some of Florida's most influential Republicans." "Romney courts businessmen, Florida's top Republicans in Tallahassee". See also "Mitt Romney reels in more Florida endorsements" and "Florida Pawlenty supporters for Romney". Related: "Mitt Romney's moment"
Our technology Governor
Blithe media accepts that this is a mere "technology mix-up": "E-mails on Gov. Rick Scott's BlackBerry may have been lost in another technology mix-up inside his office. Scott and his staff already have acknowledged that e-mails from his two-month transition and from his iPad are missing." "More of Gov. Scott's e-mails missing". Related: "Florida Gov. Rick Scott is e-mailing again".
"Herman Cain, the surging presidential candidate, stops to sell a few books". See also "Herman Cain says his grass-roots base will carry him to victory".